Powerful Questions to Discovering Your Life’s Purpose
- Do you have a hard time getting up in the morning, even with sufficient sleep? Maybe your subconscious is telling you something — perhaps deep down you loathe your job and know that something greater is waiting for you.
- Do you spend most of your life “working?” It is crucial to enjoy what we do; otherwise we are simply wasting our time and our lives. We have limited time on this planet, and life is too short to squander energy on ventures that are unfulfilling. What do you want your legacy to be?
- Can you determine the difference between a hobby and a passion? A hobby is an activity that we thoroughly enjoy giving some of our free time to. A passion is an activity that is so interesting to you that you would gladly devote all of your time to. Here is my example: I love Zumba (an aerobic dance workout) and I love herbal medicine. Zumba is a hobby because after 3- 5 hours of classes per week, I have had enough of it. I have no interest in researching new dance moves, taking additional classes, or becoming an instructor, etc. Herbal medicine is my passion because I have an endless hunger for new knowledge about the subject. I want to fill my days with this “work,” and I would never get tired of it.
- Have you taken the “Shackles On” vs. “Shackles Off” test? This gem is from Martha Beck, author of Steering by Starlight. Martha describes what feels like a heavy “shackles on” sensation when thinking of something that is wrong for you. This could be a job or a boss that harmed your physical or mental health, a smarmy neighbor, a subject that you hated in school, etc. When you think of something that is “shackles on,” notice how your body reacts, especially your gut. Our bodies actually tend to physically contract. Now, think of a person, place, or thing that has proven to be genuinely good for you — someone or something that consistently leaves you feeling happy, capable, and on track. This is how we describe the “shackles off” sensation. We tend to have feelings of openness, freedom, love, and warmth. Choosing whatever feels best, or most “shackles off” to you, moment by moment, will help to fulfill your best destiny. Allowing a sense of “shackles on” to rule your life will not.
- Have you found your authentic niche in life? Focus on one thing. Contribute all of your energy to a single area rather than spreading yourself too thin across multiple fields of interest. This is difficult to do, but you must choose! Clear your plate and refuse to wear the many hats that people expect of you; it will favor you in the long run. Remember the old saying: “A jack of all trades is a master at none.” Accept that you cannot be everything to everybody!
- What would you do for a living if you could do anything in the world? This simple, yet thought-provoking question really challenges our “lizard brain,” the tiny, primitive amygdala at the base of our skull. It is responsible for the often subconscious, irrational fears, negative thoughts, self-doubts, and anxiety lurking inside our mind that can derail us from succeeding at our dream job, accomplishing a rigorous task, or reaching a lofty goal. Are you listening to your heart and doing what you love or permitting your lizard brain to dictate a safer, less risky path to an unfulfilling job that provides a steady income and covers the monthly bills? Always remember this: It is never too late to shush the lizard brain and to turn yourself into the person that you are destined to be! By allowing the lizard brain to dictate our lives and actions, we can become our own worst enemy.
- Do you feel that the following adage is true: “If you love what you do, you won’t work a day in your life?” This statement is generally true. Even while indulging in your passion, however, you will encounter barriers, stress, and frustrating times, but at the end of the day, you will experience a feeling of fulfillment.
- Are you following the path of least resistance? Deepak Chopra, a prominent author, public speaker, physician, and advocate for alternative medicine discusses this concept in his novel The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. When you start following your path to destiny (or as Martha Beck would say, your “star chart”), opportunities will unfold. They will seem to happen seamlessly and organically. This is because the universe is cheering for you! Things will come easier. If you run into barrier after barrier, then maybe it is necessary to go back to the drawing board and re-evaluate.
- What drives you? Want more energy in your life? Do what you love, and you will find energy that you never dreamt you had! Incorporate more time with the people and activities that you love into your life. In Positive Psychology terms, this is also known as “flow.” When you do something that you love, time seems to escape you and you get in “the zone.” What creates flow in your life?
- Are you waiting until retirement to start “living?” The stoic philosopher, Lucius Seneca, enlightens us with the following concept: It is not that we have a short space of time to live, but that we waste so much of it. Life is long enough, and has been granted in sufficiently generous measure to allow the attainment of the highest accomplishment if the whole of life is well invested. The part of life that we truly live is small, for all the rest of existence is not life, but merely time. There is no guarantee that our lives will last longer than retirement. Lucius Seneca boldly exclaims, “How late it is to begin to live just when we must cease to live! What foolish forgetfulness of mortality to postpone wholesome plans to the fiftieth and sixtieth year, and to intend to begin life at a point to which few have attained!”
- Can you identify the “Energy Vampires” in your life? Energy Vampires are the individuals who can suck the life right out of you! You know who they are — the friend who brings you down, the boss who belittles your work, the co-worker who claims to be your friend but gossips about you behind your back, etc. Martha Beck calls these people the “Dark Art Practitioners.” These toxic people fog your vision and can derail you from your true self. Cleansing your life of these individuals enables your path to become clear and unadulterated. Gather new folks to include in your “tribe.” Seek out mentors, positive people who inspire you, support you, and share the same interests and values as you.
What is your passion? Keep the conversation going on our Facebook page or by commenting below!